When negotiating in Mexico it is imperative to understand that they only do business with people they know.  The only way to do business is to find friends or relatives of the person you are going to negotiate with.  Moreover, cultivating personal relationships and "fitting in" with others will be crucial to your success.  It is also important to understand that the initial visits to Mexico should not involve any discussions regarding business.  They should be centered around family and entertainment topics, which appeal to Mexicans.  Subjective feelings are the basis of truth in Mexican business's.  Appealing to emotions is strongly encouraged, especially if you can emphasize how the Mexican businessman will benefit personally from the offer.  It is also wise  to mention how your proposal will heighten your counterparts sense of honor and family pride.  Negotiations are inordinately lengthy and involve plenty of haggling.  Finally, because Mexicans are very status oriented, a high level of management must be part of the negotiations. 
Description Of Negotiator
 A description of the Mexican negotiator is as follows:
  • Emotional sensitivity valued
  • Emotionally passionate
  • Loyal to employer, specifically the boss
  • Face-saving crucial in decision making to preserve honor, dignity
  • Passionate in decision making
  • Impulsive, spontaneous decision making
  • Very nationalistic



Risk Tolerance
Because Mexican's value keeping face they have very low risk tolerance.  Anything ambiguous or foreign to Mexican's will usually be avoided.
Locus Of Control
Mexican's feel they have control over their future.  By slowly and methodically making decisions, they feel they can control the outcome. 
Autocratic Leadership vs. Participative Leadership
Traditional manager is autocratic. Younger managers are starting to accept and delegate responsibility.
Subordinates used to being assigned tasks, not authority.
Collectivist vs. Individualistic
Mexicans are collectivist. The Mexican culture places heavy emphasis on the group valuing harmony and saving face.  Their hiring and promotion practices are based on relationships and nepotism. 
Objective Approach vs. Subjective Approach
The Mexican culture is definitely more subjective, basing their decisions on emotions rather than facts. 
Moral Idealism vs. Utilitarianism
Mexicans base their decisions on moral idealism, considering the problems, alternatives and solutions from a long term, societal perspective. 


Sources:  Deresky, Helen, International Management (Prentice Hall 2000) p177.
Mexico Executive Planet,
Business in Mexico,